We are well into our third week of being off for the pandemic.

We call it Covid 19, Elizabeth just calls it “The Virus”

When she asks if we can go out to eat, I answer “Not now, but hopefully soon” She responds “I know, its the virus.”

When she asks if she can hang out with her friends.  She gets the same answer from me and then says “I know, its the virus.”

So “The virus” is what she blames for all the changes in her life.  The thing that took away all her activities, time with friends, school and more.  I share with her that she is not alone because everyone is doing their part ( or should be) by staying home if they can and that in time, “The virus” will go away.

But until then? We are all adjusting to the new normal.

I told everyone in last week’s blog that we are doing okay so far.

Well this week?

The report is a bit different.

She is starting to show signs of anxiety and frustration….more and more  She is answering questions in a sharp voice, wanting to watch more TV than before and saying “NO” to most all things asked of her.

I know that with her special needs, this time at home and the inability to do the things she loves have all resulted in this increase in anxiety.

I had a great phone call from our beloved therapist Mary Padulla last week and she told me that so many of the young adults she treats can hold it together and appear to be doing well only to have so much going on inside, so much so that soon a crack in the veneer can show itself.  At the time of this call, I have to say, I told Mary that Elizabeth was doing well and literally said, she looks good.

I was thinking that keeping a nice schedule, talking, exercising and the like would keep her nervous system in a calm state.

But these are unique times.

The meltdown started last night.  Innocently enough actually as it involved time for her to go take a shower.  I cannot say exactly what occurred but she simply melted down.  Upset, crying and yelling things like she didn’t want to be home all the time anymore, that she missed her friends and that she hated “The virus”

I tried to talk to her.

To hug her (sorry social distancing rule)

To try to  make her smile.

Nothing stopped the meltdown. The heavy blanket and some Rescue Remedy helped.  We prayed together and that helped too!

My heart broke for her because I know that we who are neurotypical people, are struggling and working hard to do each day, let alone those with special needs that make it just that much harder.

I called Mary today and I scheduled a tele-health time for Elizabeth with her for Friday.  She can be that extra someone to help Elizabeth work through some of these feelings.

I guess the take away, and for me too, is that while the outward signs look good, there probably is more going on for our special children.

Is there someone you know who can communicate with them?  To be the person who helps them sort out feelings and emotions.

I share our story because it may help others see their child with different eyes and can help the small crack not turn into a big one. Just some thoughts here.

Please be safe, stay home if you can.

Michele Gianetti author of:

I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues